Fight a cowardly act with bravery

Since Sept. 11, 2001, another terrorist attack on American soil has been expected. Still, the bombs that detonated Monday near the finish line of the Boston Marathon were shocking.

The reactions of survivors caught in the ensuing chaos, however, stand in marked contrast to the cowardice of the person or persons who planted the deadly devices.

Bystanders rushed Jeff Bauman Jr., a spectator who had lost both legs in one of the blasts, away from the site in a wheelchair.

Emily Clark, a junior at Boston College from Weymouth, Mass., ran in the marathon, then went to Massachusetts General Hospital with two friends to try to donate blood.

She had company; so many others stepped up to donate blood, the American Red Cross announced it had met the need just hours later.

Boston residents opened their homes to strangers stranded due to the bombing.

These and other acts of courage and compassion were a counterpoint to the timid act on Patriots Day in Boston. That act revealed the weak nature of the terrorist or terrorists responsible for carrying it out. The reaction revealed the strength that will carry us through the tragedy. It reflects the fortitude which carries runners through the challenge of a marathon.

We are confident the person or persons responsible will be caught. We hope justice will be swift.

We also are sure the Americans will have the courage to continue living as free people and not allow a coward or cowards to restrict their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.